Travel insurance over 65: Our tips for choosing cover

By , May 18, 2012 2:35 pm
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Buying travel insurance when you are over 65 can be slightly trickier than buying travel insurance when you are under 65, partly because sadly there is less choice available for over 65s and partly because you are now likely to be more choosey.

Think about it, when you were 25 you didn’t really understand why you were buying travel insurance, it was just something that the travel agent added on to your holiday, or maybe you even travelled without insurance.

Now you are over 65 your priorities may have changed, you are more experienced, more knowledgeable and you understand the risks, you are therefore more likely to spend more time choosing your travel insurance.

Here are some tips on choosing the right travel insurance cover for you when you are over 65:

Medical expenses & Repatriation Cover

The most important part of travel insurance over 65 is the cover you get for emergency medical expenses and repatriation.  This section of the travel insurance policy provides cover for the cost of emergency medical treatment whilst you are away, which can easily amount to thousands. It also covers the cost of repatriation back to the UK where it is medically necessary, this could be by air ambulance or on a scheduled flight with a medical escort – something that doesn’t come cheap.

WHICH? recommend that you look for a minimum of £2 Million of medical expenses cover on a European travel insurance policy or £5 Million on a Worldwide travel insurance policy.

Make sure you declare any pre-existing medical conditions

To make sure that your emergency medical expenses are covered if you fall ill abroad you should declare any pre-existing medical conditions when you buy travel insurance over 65.

Remember, even something which seems unimportant or everyday needs to be declared. High blood pressure or high cholesterol is something that is often not declared by travellers over 65 when it should be.  If you take medication to control your blood pressure you need to declare it, even if your blood pressure is no longer high, it probably would be if your weren’t taking the tablets so it needs to be declared.

Get the right level of cancellation cover

Once you know that the policy has enough cover for medical expenses you can then start looking at the other travel insurance cover and benefits.

Cancellation cover can vary significantly in different travel insurance over 65 policies. If you’re not sure how much cancellation cover you need, compare it to the cost of your holiday. If your holiday only cost £500 per person you don’t need £5000 of cancellation cover each – so you can save money by choosing a policy with a lower level of cancellation cover. On the other hand if your holiday cost £5000 per person and you needed to cancel because of illness, you would be very disappointed to find that the travel insurance you had chosen only covered up to £500 each.

Travel insurance cover for your personal property

Again think about the value of the possessions you are going to be taking with you and use that to help you choose the right level of travel insurance cover. Remember that for valuables and money to be covered by travel insurance you must keep them in your possession or in a locked safe – never pack valuable items in your checked-in baggage.

Look at the excess payable in the event of claim

Check the level of excess that is payable in the event that you need to make a claim on your travel insurance over 65 policy. Some cheaper policies may have high excesses, or you can pay a premium to buy a travel insurance policy with no excess payable.

One is not necessarily better than the other, it’s up to you whether you would rather pay a lower premium on the assumption that you are not likely to make a claim, therefore the excess is not important, or you may prefer to pay a higher premium so that you take away the risk of having to pay any extra.

Consider Scheduled Airline Failure or other travel insurance upgrades

If you book elements of your holiday independently rather than buying a bonded package you don’t get the same level of financial protection that you would get if you book a package with a bonded tour operator, so you might want to consider adding Scheduled Airline Failure or Dynamic Packaging cover to your travel insurance over 65 policy – this provides extra protection for the insolvency of an airline or accommodation supplier.

When you are choosing travel insurance over 65 it’s always best to make an informed decision, we hope that this information will help you to do that.

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